Saturday, April 25, 2009

Renewed Violence in Iraq; A Visit by Hillary Clinton

Iraq was back in the news this past week. There were bombings on Thursday and Friday that killed at least 160 people.

Sunnis carried out the bombings, targeting Shiites; Sunni insurgents had recently announced a campaign of renewed attacks called "The Good Harvest."

A report in this morning's Post said that Iraq's police force and army nearly doubled in size, between January 2007 and October 2008, to approximately 600,000. Notwithstanding the bombings this week, this is a very positive development -- it seems like it took the US way too long to focus on training Iraq's police and army.

On yesterday's Diane Rehm Friday News Roundup, one of the guests said that there has still been extremely little progress on the oil revenue-sharing law.

216. If the revenue sharing law has not yet been passed, how is the oil revenue being distributed currently? Why does the US media keep talking about the revenue sharing law but not about if/how Iraq's oil economy has changed since the US invasion?
Yesterday, Hillary Clinton visited Iraq - her first visit there since becoming Secretary of State.

The Times reports that Nouri al-Maliki is not pursuing reconciliation with the Baathists fast-enough for the US's liking, but he's reconciling too fast for the more Iranian-leaning Shiite Iraqis. This seems like a good development also -- it's analogous to Obama being criticized for his economic policies from both sides of the American political spectrum.

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